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Screening continues in Larkana: 30 more children, five adults test positive for HIV


May 9, 2019

KARACHI: Sindh health department has established an HIV Treatment Center at Children Hospital Larkana to treat dozens of children infected with the lethal viral disease after 30 more children and five adults were tested positive for HIV at a general screening camp in Ratodero, Larkana on Wednesday.

“We have established a pediatric treatment center for HIV positive children at Children Hospital Larkana where all baseline tests and investigations would be carried out and they would be given Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART), pledged by the National AIDS Control Programme for initial six months,” said Dr. Sikandar Memon, Programme Manager of the Sindh AIDS Control Program (SACP) while talking to The News. Sindh health department officials reported the number of HIV positive children to have increased to 187 in the last fortnight while 35 adults including both men and women also tested positive for the HIV in Ratodero. In total since April 25, 222 people have tested positive for HIV in Ratodero out of 5,224 people scanned, Memon claimed.

For the treatment of children, Dr. Memon said the National AIDS Control Program (NACP) has pledged to provide ART medicines for six months while alternate arrangements would be made for medicines and treatment for the rest of their lives. “At the moment, we have started providing ARTs to 60 HIV positive patients during last week for the initial six months,” Dr. Memon said.

Meanwhile, instead of screening people only for HIV/Aids in Larkana, health authorities began screening people for other vulnerabilities including Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C, checked nutritional status of children and women and provided facility of immunization at a general screening camp where experts and specialists from various public and private institutions provided their expertise. Experts of the infectious diseases believe that reuse of syringes, unscreened blood transfusion, sexual exploitation and other unhealthy practices could be blamed for a recent outbreak of HIV in Larkana and feared there could be other such cities where large segments of general population could also be infected with HIV/AIDS if screened.

The anti-quackery teams of the Sindh Health Care Commission sealed 65 healthcare set up being run by the quacks during last two weeks, claimed Dr. Minhaj Qidwai, the Chief Executive Officer of the SHCC. “The anti-quackery teams in Larkana are checking each and every clinic, hospital and the physicians as we can’t allow more children to be infected with lethal viral diseases,” Qiwai said.

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